Articles Archives - Ben Michaelis, PhD

“Doctors And Psychologists Reveal How Getting Married Changes Your Mind And Body” – Elite Daily

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Everyone knows marriage is hard.

After you’ve finally paid off all the bills from your wedding day, you’ll start to get into a groove where you find yourself fostering a new type of a relationship together — one more serious and connected than when you were just dating. But one thing not too many people know is, after you get married, your mind and your body can change drastically. Since you’re no longer on the hunt to find someone who wants to settle down in a relationship with you, the way you approach day-to-day life (when it comes to your thought process, eating habits and even overall anxieties and fears) begins to flow down a different path. If you’re wondering what is going to happen to your mind and body when you’re married, here are some answers from five doctors and psychologists.

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“Decoding Your Desk: What Does It Say About You?” – HowStuffWorks

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Is your cluttered desk a sign of creative genius or total chaos? Experts weigh in.


The eyes might be the windows to the soul, but your desk lets people see right into your brain. OK, maybe that’s a stretch, but it does beg the question: Messy or not, is your desk an accurate reflection of how you work and operate? Expert opinions might surprise you.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Ben Michaelis says if someone keeps a messy desk, people might think that means they’re generally disorganized, too. “It’s a visual metaphor for their mind,” he explains. “If their ideas are all over the place, their things and thinking and focus can be too.”

However, Michaelis is quick to point out that being comfortable in your workspace is more important than having a gleaming desk. “Someone who is fastidious to have a messy desk for a little while would probably not be conducive to creativity, but for people who like to play in that messiness it probably does work out,” he says.

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“Why every relationship could benefit from couple’s therapy” – The List

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When we picture couple’s therapy, we often think of a married couple’s relationship in which one person has discovered the other is cheating, or in which one person is just no longer feeling the spark anymore. Generally, couple’s therapy has been shown to lead to significant improvements in relationship matters, but these studies are traditionally carried out with romantic couples, like our example married duo. The fact of the matter is couple’s therapy can be conducted with any type of couple: platonic, work-related, parental, etc. It turns out that just about every kind of relationship could benefit from couple’s therapy, not just the type with couples who intend to get married or spend the rest of their lives together.

I spoke with licensed marriage and family therapists, social workers, professional counselors, and people who have gone through couple’s counseling to find out why it’s not only beneficial for romantic relationships, but for just about any relationship you can think of.

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“Here’s what mental health experts think of President Trump’s behavior” – The Week

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There it was again: During his first week in office, even as he unveiled policies affecting momentous issues from women’s health and war refugees to oil pipelines and immigration, President Trump seemed fixated on … less portentous topics.

He tweeted his scorn for the anti-Trump women’s marches in cities around the world the day after his inauguration. He told congressional leaders he lost the popular vote because more than 3 million people cast illegal ballots. After ABC’s David Muir, in an interview that aired Wednesday night, told the president, “I don’t want to compare [inauguration] crowd sizes again,” Trump plowed ahead, showing off a framed photo and saying, “the audience was the biggest ever, but this crowd was massive. Look how far back it goes. This crowd was massive.”

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“How to Have a Social Life on a Budget—Even When Your Friends Spend More”- LearnVest

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If you’re like a lot of people, you made a financial resolution for the New Year to reach a larger money goal—which means tightening your belt and giving yourself less fun money to play with.

But sticking to a dialed-back budget can be a challenge when your friends continue to shell out big bucks on restaurants, vacations and group acro yoga classes for which you have a standing invite.

Giving them a general heads-up about the spending limits you’ve set for yourself is a smart idea; if they know why you’re cutting corners, they hopefully won’t tempt you to blow extra cash. Still, we understand that telling your group about your money goals might go against your instincts. Only 22% of Americans say their friends would be the first place they’d turn to discuss a new financial resolution, according to the 2016 Money Habits & Confessions Survey by LearnVest.

However, some wallet-draining social scenarios call for an upfront money conversation, even if it means getting over the awkwardness of talking finances with others. Here are five times you might need to explain to your group that you just can’t sacrifice the funds, plus how to do it without sacrificing your friendships—or your financial goals.

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“Empowering Ways to Spend Inauguration Weekend” – SHAPE

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The best way to handle this serious time may be to actually lighten up a bit.

If you’re unhappy with the outcome of the election, you might have a difficult weekend ahead of you. But the best way to handle it may actually be to lighten up a little. “This is a heady topic, but it can be helpful to do something that takes your mind off the issue and replace it with something upbeat, fun, different, or interesting,” says Loretta LaRoche, stress expert, humor consultant, and author of Life Is Short—Wear Your Party Pants.

Whether you’re watching the inauguration on Friday, participating in women’s marches all over the country on Saturday, or trying to tune it all out and save your sanity, everyone has a different way of coping, and that’s totally okay. But if you need some ideas, we’ve rounded up a few healthy ways to offset the negativity.

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“Stop Feeling Bad About Ghosting” – Tonic

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It’s better for you than you think.  

For many reasons, the first few weeks of January are the busiest time of year for dating apps. And as singles turn back to their phones with the hope that this is the year they find love, it’s helpful to remember the cardinal rule of not wasting your time: Ghosting is now an acceptable way to end casual relationships. It’s officially suitable—after a few texts or a mediocre date, at least—to communicate your disinterest for someone through silence.

I know it sounds cold, especially to those of you who locked things down in the pre-swiping era, but these days, ghosting is incredibly common: A 2016 survey found that 78 percent of single people between the ages of 18 and 33 have been ghosted at least once. An older study conducted by Elle found that more than half of folks who’ve been ghosted are also ghosters themselves.

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“When Young People Use Social Media To Share Their Suicidal Feelings”- Mashable

Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 7.37.37 PMOn Dec. 30, Katelyn Nicole Davis turned on the livestreaming app at her home in Cedartown, Georgia, and broadcast her own suicide.

As that video spread across the internet and social media, it demonstrated how quickly technology can turn casual spectators into traumatized witnesses. The video also left those who encountered it online or through news reports wondering what would drive a young person — Davis was just 12 — to invite unsuspecting friends and strangers to watch a life vanish before their eyes.While Davis’ death is an extreme, rare example of using social media to document ending one’s life, she isn’t alone in sharing a fatal suicide attempt. Last May, a French teenager used the smartphone app Periscope to stream her suicide.

Ben Michaelis, a clinical psychologist and consultant for Crisis Text Line, said that while the medium may have been shocking in Davis’ case, it’s common for someone in the midst of a mental health crisis to yearn for connection. Young people who’ve grown up communicating often exclusively through a smartphone may naturally turn to social media to talk about suicidal feelings. What’s less instinctive, however, is knowing where to find life-saving aid and comfort online.

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“The Danger of Being Too Good at Your Job” – Grow Magazine

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For two years, Sarah Montana worked as an executive assistant at a Manhattan hedge fund where the coffee was good, the people were nice and the work wasn’t hard. She’d taken the job for two reasons: money and stability. And she had both in spades.

“I was doing something that came pretty easily, and I was better than most people at doing it,” she says. She was so good, in fact, that other similar job offers started coming in—for 30 percent above her salary.

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“Does Shopping Actually Make You Happy?” – Allure


To say that I had just been eyeing Charlotte Chesnais’s layered, vermeil drop earrings would be one of the many understatements of 2016. I practically stalked them, checking The Line and Net-a-Porter almost daily, but at $680 and $755, respectively, I couldn’t pull the trigger on the sculptural designs—my bank account was already depleted and I had yet to purchase any of my Christmas presents for my 12-person immediate family.

According to Alexa von Tobel, founder and CEO of financial planning company, LearnVest, and New York Times bestselling author of Financially Fearless, the average family spends about $463 on each other during the holidays, while that same family has less than $400 in savings. Embarrassingly, my single-person household mimicked those statistics.

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